06 March 2019
Diokno’s takeover of BSP “elitist” - Ka Leody
Worker Senate bet bats for “labor representation” in Central Bank
Partido Lakas ng Masa senatoriable Ka Leody De Guzman slams the appointment of DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno as new Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), insisting that Diokno “will reinforce the elitism of the country's central bank.”
“The working class will never forget his callous statement ‘kung masipag ka lang, hindi ka magugutom sa Pilipinas’ (if you work hard, you won't be hungry in the Philippines) at the height of the country's inflationary crisis last year when he held the reins of fiscal policy,” De Guzman said.
The appointment of the budget secretary accused of P75-billion insertion in the public works budget followed the death of former Governor Nestor Espenilla.
“Appointing someone is insensitive to effects of inflation to the poor like Diokno is a recipe for disaster, especially for our 2022 target to reduce poverty to 14%,” De Guzman added.
De Guzman also scored Congress and the Duterte administration to put forward “pro-labor” reforms in the central bank's charter, following its amendment by Republic Act 11211 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last February.
“At best, the reforms made were cosmetic. If the Filipino people will be kind enough to elect me to Senate, I'll ensure a more lasting reform: labor representation, and bringing back employment as a central bank objective,” De Guzman said.
De Guzman lamented the “privatization” of the central bank under Republic Act 7653, which reduced the number of government representatives to the monetary board and reduced the central bank's role to price stabilization.
“The 1948 Central Bank established by Republic Act 265 mandated a central bank that is responsible for ‘a rising level of production, employment, and real income’. This mandate conspicuously absent in later versions of central bank charter,” De Guzman noted.
De Guzman promised to bring back a “pro-labor monetary policy” through legislation, which will feature “representative from the labor sector chosen from the unions and labor groups, as well as the labor secretary from the government” in the monetary board.
“It is time for Congress to reverse the elitism of the BSP, with Diokno as its new avatar, and design a central bank that consciously promotes the welfare of the majority,” De Guzman ended.